The Biggest Metal Moments of NAMM 2014

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John Gilhooley
Two attendees of NAMM 2014. See more photos via our sister publication OC Weekly's slideshow.
The last time I told people I was going to 'Nam, I was actually heading off to backpack through Vietnam for a month with a stop off in Cambodia and Taiwan. And the general reply was, "Why the hell would you want to do that?"

However, last week when I was heading off to a NAMM of a different sort -- namely, the National Association of Music Merchants in Anaheim, California -- the reaction was one of excitement and a tad bit of jealousy. And since I had never been to the music industry convention, I had no idea what to really expect.

For the uninitiated, NAMM, which runs in late January each year, is a music industry trade show that runs in every January in Southern California. Spread across a large chunk of the 1.6 million-square-foot Anaheim Convention Center, manufactures and retailers get to communicate directly and build relationships with both fans and musicians.

Suffice it to say, it's the ultimate Disneyland for musicians or anyone who's a hardcore music enthusiast. And even though NAMM caters to any musical genre or gearhead, for heavy metal to and hard rock fans, things can get pretty interesting.

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Lauren Wise
Orange drum set-up

With more than 5,000 brands on display, the amount of equipment and products at NAMM is overwhelming, some of which are so amazing that even the most active imaginations would have trouble dreaming 'em up. And every day, there were nonstop lectures, panels, concerts, exhibits, artist signings, seminars, product demos, networking opportunities and classes

Even if you didn't have a ticket, however, you would've had a blast outside of the convention center between the food trucks, celebrity sightings, and live music.

The key is keeping your eyes peeled and a camera handy, because between wandering around booths or resting your aching feet while people-watching, you never know who you'll run into.

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